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RATIO: SC ruled that under the form of government established by the US in the Philippine

Islands, one department of the government has no power or authority to inquire into the acts
of another, which acts are performed within the discretion of the other department. By the
organic law of

1. ABUEVA vs. WOOD


No. 21327
January 14, 1924
PETITIONERS: Teodoro Abueva et al.
RESPONDENTS: Leonard Wood, et al.
ORIGINAL ACTION for the writ of mandamus, to compel respondents to exhibit and to
permit examination of all vouchers and other documentary proofs in their possession,
showing the disbursements and expenditures made out of the funds of the Independence
Commission.
FACTS:

Petitioners are members of the Independence Commission, which was ratified and
adopted by the Philippine Legislature on the 8th day of March, 1919. Twenty-six of
the petitioners are members of the House of Representatives; and four are
members of the Senate of the Philippine Islands, all belonging to the democratic
party.

Respondents are the ff.: Leonard Wood (Governor-General of the Philippine


Islands), Manuel L. Quezon and Manuel Roxas (Presidents of the Independence
Commission), Paciano Dizon (Acting Auditor of the Philippine Islands), Teodoro M.
Kalaw (Executive Secretary of the Independence Commission), and Fernando
Mariano Guerrero (Secretary of the Independence Commission)

By Act No. 2933, the Legislature of the Philippine Islands provided a standing
appropriation of Php 1,000,000 per annum, payable to Insular Treasury, to defray
the expenses of the Independence Commission; that said appropriation shall be
considered as included in the annual appropriation for the Senate and the House of
Representatives, P500,000 for each house, although the appropriation act hereafter
approved may not make any specific appropriation for said purpose; with the
proviso that no part of said sum shall be set upon the books of the Insular Auditor
until it shall be necessary to make the payment or payments authorized by said act

To the petition the Attorney-General for the respondents Leonard Wood, Manuel L.
Quezon and Manuel Roxas, entered a special appearance for the purpose of
objecting to the jurisdiction of the court over his clients, upon the ground
o
that Leonard Wood, as Governor-General of the Philippine Islands and
head of the executive department of the Philippine Government, is not
subject to the control or supervision of the courts, and
o
that Manuel L. Quezon and Manuel Roxas, as Chairman of of the
Independence Commission, are mere agents of the Philippine Legislature
and cannot be controlled or interfered with by the courts.

At the close of the argument, each requested 10 days in which to present a


memorandum in support of his respective contention. Later, the Attorney-General
presented an extensive memorandum of their contention while the petitioners failed
to present any.
ISSUE: W/N the Court has the jurisdiction and shall issue writ of mandamus to respondents
to address the claims of petitioners
HELD: NO. SC is without authority or jurisdiction to grant the remedy prayed for; and the
petition is therefore hereby DENIED.

the Philippine Islands the Governor-General is invested with certain important political
powers, in the exercise of which he is to use his own discretion and is accountable only to his
country in his political character and to his own conscience.
The Governor-General of the Philippine Islands, as the Chief Executive of the
Government, is possessed with the only machinery by which and through which the orders of
the court and the laws of the country are enforced. The courts are without power to enforce
their orders except in contempt proceedings, and then only with the assistance of the officers
of the executive department.
Moreover, Section 222 of Act No. 190 provides generally when courts may issue
the writ of mandamus. Said section provides that "when the complaint in an action in a court
of first instance alleges that any inferior tribunal, corporation, board, or person unlawfully
neglects the performance of an act which the law specially enjoins as a duty resulting from an
office, trust, or station, or unlawfully excludes the plaintiff from the use and enjoyment of a
right or office to which he is entitled and from which he is unlawfully precluded by such inferior
tribunal, corporation, board, or person, and the court, on trial, finds the allegations of the
complaint to be true, it may, if there is no other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the
ordinary courts (course) of law, render a judgment granting a peremptory order against the
defendant, commanding him, immediately after the receipt of such order, or at some other
specified time, to do the act required (by law or resulting from an office, trust, or station) to be
done to protect the rights of the plaintiff."
In the case at bar, there is no allegation in the petition in the present case that
Leonard Wood, as Governor-General, has unlawfully neglected the performance of an act
which the law specially enjoins as a duty upon him. The only allegation in the complaint
relating to the duty or the neglected duty on the part of Leonard Wood as Governor-General
is, "that the original of said vouchers are in possession of the respondent Paciano Dizon as
Acting Insular Auditor, who is under his authority and high general inspection as GovernorGeneral." There is no allegation or intimation in the petition that Leonard Wood, as GovernorGeneral, has neglected the performance of an act which the law specially enjoins upon him
as a duty resulting from an office, trust, or station or has unlawfully excluded the petitioners
from the use or enjoyment of a right or office to which they are entitled.
2. Chavez v. Judicial Bar Council (JBC)
G.R. 202242
July 17, 2012
Mendoza, J.
FACTS:

The present action stemmed from the unexpected departure of former Chief Justice
Corona and the nomination of Francisco Chavez, as his potential successor. He asks
the Court to determine the following:
o
Whether the first paragraph of Section 8, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution
allows more than 1 ember of Congress to sit in the Judicial Bar Council (JBC)
o
If the practice of having two (2) representatives from each House of Congress
with one (1) vote is sanctioned by the Constitution

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There are currently 8 members who sit in the JBC. The Constitution provides that there
shall be a representative from the Congress.

However, the JBC construed this phrase as representatives coming from both
the Senate and the House.
o
The representatives from Congress sitting in the JBC today are respondents
Tupas (House) and Escudero (Senate).
Grounds of Petitioner Chavez in assailing the composition of the JBC:
o
Article VIII, Section 8, Paragraph 1 is clear, definite, and needs no
interpretation in that the JBC shall have only one representative from
Congress
o
The framers of the Constitution clearly envisioned, contemplated, and decided
on a JBC composed of only seven members
o
The composition of the JBC providing for three ex-officio members is
purposely designed for a balanced representation of each of the three
branches of government.
o
One of the two members of the JBC from Congress has no right to sit in the
said constitutional body and perform the duties and functions of a member
thereof.
o
The JBC cannot conduct valid proceedings as its composition is illegal and
unconstitutional
Respondents answer:
o
The two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives, are
permanent and mandatory components of Congress, such that the absence
of either divests the term of its substantive meaning as expressed under the
Constitution. Hence, the letter of the Constitution would produce absurdity an
incongruity to the bicameral nature of Congress.
o
They claim that when the JBC was established, the Framers originally
envisioned a unicameral legislative body, thereby allocating a representative
of the National Assembly to the JBC. The phrase, however, was not modified
to aptly jive with the change to bicameralism. If there were made aware to the
consequence of a bicameral legislature, they would have modified it.
o
While they admit that the purpose in creating the JBC was to insulate
appointments to the Judiciary from political influence, they likewise cautioned
the Court that this constitutional vision did not intend to entirely preclude
political factor in said appointments. The 2 members from Congress even
provide balance as against the other 6 members who are presidential
appointees.

ISSUES/HELD:

Whether or not the current practice of the JBC to perform functions with eight (8)
members, two (2) of whom are members of Congress, runs counter to the letter and
spirit of the 1987 Constitution YES

RATIO:
JBC Composition Issue
Current Status of the JBC

In 1994, the composition of the JBC was substantially altered. Instead of having only
th
seven (7) members, an eighth (8 ) member was added to the JBC as two (2)

representatives from Congress began sitting in the JBC: one from the Senate and one
from the House. They have vote each at the time
Then in 2000 and 2001, the JBC, during their meetings en banc, allowed those
representatives from the Senate and House to have one full vote. Today, respondents
Escudero and Tupas simultaneously sit in the JBC as representatives of the Congress.

Courts Ruling
An Understanding of the Provision

The crux of the controversy is an understanding of the composition of the JBC. The
Constitution provides the following:
o
Section 8. (1) A Judicial and Bar Council is hereby created under the
supervision of the Supreme Court composed of the Chief Justice as ex
officio Chairman, the Secretary of Justice, and a representative of the
Congress as ex officio Members, a representative of the Integrated Bar,
a professor in law, a retired Member of the Supreme Court, and a
representative of the private sector.

A simple reading of the provision shows that it can readily be discerned that the law
is clear and unambiguous.

The use of the singular letter a preceding representative of Congress is


unequivocal and leaves no room for any other construction. It is indicative of what
the members of the Constitutional Commission had in mind, that is, Congress may
designate only one (1) representative to the JBC.

The records show that it was intended that the JBC be composed of 7 members
only.

The seven-member composition of the JBC serves a practical purpose: to provide a


solution should there be a stalemate in voting.
Bicameral Nature of Congress Argument

The respondents insist that owing to the bicameral nature of Congress, the word
Congress should be read as including both Senate and the House. This
argument, however, has no merit.
No parallelism can be drawn between the representative of Congress in the JBC
and the exercise by Congress of its legislative powers under Article VI and
constituent powers under Article XVII of the Constitution
o
The exercise of legislative and constituent powers requires the Senate
and the House of Representatives to coordinate and act as distinct
bodies in furtherance of Congress role under our constitutional scheme.
In the exercise of those powers, it necessitates the separateness of the
two houses of Congress as they relate inter se.
o
In this case, however, Congress is not performing a legislative function.
Congress, in relation to the executive and judicial branches of
government, is constitutionally treated as another coequal branch of in
the matter of its representative in JBC. No such dichotomy need be made
when Congress interacts with the other two co-equal branches of
government.
o
It is more in keeping with the co-equal nature of the three governmental
branches to assign the same weight to considerations that any of its
representatives may have regarding aspiring nominees to the judiciary.
The representatives of the Senate and the House of Representatives act
as such for one branch and should not have any more quantitative

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influence as the other branches in the exercise of prerogatives evenly


bestowed upon the three.
The Constitution lets Congress act as a bicameral body when action in its primary
capacity: to legislate, However, in the other functions of Congress, the Court
distinguished their roles, such as the power of appropriation, declaration of
existence of war, canvassing of electoral returns for President and Vice President,
and impeachment.
In this case, no liaison between the two houses exists. Hence, the Court finds the
above thesis as a paramount justification of the Courts conclusion that Congress,
in the context of the JBC representation, should be considered as one body.

Note that the primary purpose of the JBC is to eliminate politics in the appointment
of the members of the Judiciary. They adopted a holistic approach and hoped that,
in creating a JBC, the private sector and the three branches of government would
have an active role and equal voice in the selection of the members in the
Judiciary.
o
Therefore, to allow the Legislature to have more quantitative influence in
the JBC by having more than one voice speak, whether with one full vote
or one-half (1/2) a vote each, as one former congressman and member
of the JBC put it, negate the principle of equality among the three
branches of government which is enshrined in the Constitution.

3. In the Matter of: Save the SC Judicial Independence and Fiscal Autonomy
Movement v. Abolition of Judiciary Development Fund (JDF) and Reduction of Fiscal
Autonomy

ISSUE: Whether petitioner has sufficiently shown grounds for this court to grant the petition
and issue a writ of Mandamus
HELD: NO
-
The power of judicial review is subject to certain limitations
-
Petitioner must comply with all the requisites for judicial review before this court
takes cognizance of the case:
o
There must be an actual case/ controversy

-
-
-
-

** Special Civil Action in the SC for Mandamus. This case involves the abolition of the JDF
and replacing it with the Judiciary Support Fund (JSF)
FACTS:
-
Petitioner (Rolly Mijares) prays for the issuance of a writ of Mandamus in order to
compel this court to exercise its JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE and FISCAL
AUTONOMY against the perceived hostility of Congress
-
Mijares alleges that he is a Filipino citizen and a taxpayer and that he filed this
petition as part of his continuing crusade to DEFEND AND UPHOLD THE
CONSTITUTION and that he is concerned about the threats against the judiciary
after the promulgation of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) case
and the Disbursement Acceleration Program case
-
House Bill No. 4738 was filed as The Act Creating the JSF under the National
Treasury, repealing for the purpose PD No. 1949, which required this court to remit
its JDF collections to the national treasury
-
On the same day of the filing of HB 4738, President Aquino gave his SONA stating
his message to the SC We do not want 2 equal branches of government to go
rd
head to head, needing a 3 branch to step in to intervene
-
Petitioner argues that:
o
Congress gravely abused its discretion with a blatant usurpation of
judicial independence and fiscal autonomy of the SC
o
Congress exercises its power in an arbitrary and despotic manner by
reason of passion or personal hostility by abolishing the JDF of the SC
o
Congress should not act as wreckers of the law by threatening to clip
the powers of the High Tribunal

Congress committed a blunder of monumental proportions when it


reduced the judiciarys 2015 budget
Petitioner prays that this court exercise its powers to REVOKE/ABROGATE and
EXPUNGE whatever irreconcilable contravention of existing laws affecting judicial
independence and fiscal autonomy

-
-
-

o
Locus standi
o
Question must be raised at the earliest opportunity
o
Issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case
st
nd
Petitioner failed to comply with the 1 and 2 requisite which warrants the outright
dismissal of the petition
This court is not empowered to review proposed bills because a bill is not a law
striking down of proposed bills abolishing JDF is not included in the powers vested
to the SC
Even assuming that there is an actual controversy, petitioner has no legal standing
to question the validity of the proposed bill because he has not shown that he has
or will sustain a direct injury if the proposed bill is passed into law
Mandamus will not lie to compel an official to do anything which is not his duty to
do or which it is his duty not to do, or to give to the applicant anything to which he is
not entitled by law petitioner has not shown how he is entitled to the relief
prayed for so this court cannot be compelled to exercise its power of judicial review
since theres no actual case
Courts do not have the power of the purse
Except for a constitutional provision that requires that the budget of the judiciary
should not go below the appropriation for the previous year, it is beholden to the
Congress depending on how low the budget is
The entire budget of the judiciary does not only come from the national
government, the Constitution grants fiscal autonomy to the judiciary to maintain its
independence
4. ANAK MINDANAO VS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY

FACTS:
Petitioners Anak Mindanao Party-List Group (AMIN) and Mamalo Descendants Organization,
Inc. (MDOI) assail the constitutionality of Executive Order (E.O.) Nos. 364 and 379, both
issued in 2004, via the present Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with prayer for injunctive
relief.
Specifically, petitioners assail the validity of Section 1 and 2 of E.O. 364 which states:
SECTION 1. The Department of Agrarian Reform is hereby transformed into
the Department of Land Reform. It shall be responsible for all land reform in the
country, including agrarian reform, urban land reform, and ancestral domain reform.

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SECTION 2. The PCUP is hereby placed under the supervision and control of
the Department of Land Reform. The Chairman of the PCUP shall be ex-officio
Undersecretary of the Department of Land Reform for Urban Land Reform.
And Section 1 of E.O. 379:
Section 1. Amending Section 3 of Executive Order No. 364. Section 3 of Executive
Order No. 364, dated September 27, 2004 shall now read as follows:
Section 3. The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)
shall be an attached agency of the Department of Land Reform.

It is not disputed that PCUP and NCIP were formed as agencies under the Office of the
President. Therefore, the President may transfer any agency under the Office of the President
to any other department or agency, subject to the policy in the Executive Office and in order
to achieve simplicity, economy and efficiency. In conclusion, the challenged executive orders
may not be said to have been issued with grave abuse of discretion or in violation of the rule
of law.

*IRAC compatible. Main Issue answered


ISSUE: Whether or not the placement of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor
(PCUP) under the supervision and control of the DAR, and the National Commission on
Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) under the DAR as an attached agency, is a transgression of the
separation of powers doctrine?
(personal opinion) Whether or not the placement of the PCUP and NCIP
encroached on the legislative branch on modifying government agencies empowered by
congress? As DAR, PCUP and NCIP were created by statues thus they can only modified by
statues and not executive orders.
(procedural aspect) (I assume atty. Haulo is going to ask this) Petitioner AMIN has
locus standi to pursue this action. Petitioner MDOI however was ruled by the court to have
legal standing to pursue the action. Vague propositions that the implementation of the
assailed orders will work injustice and violate the rights of its members cannot clothe MDOI
with the requisite standing. Neither would its status as a peoples organization vest it with the
legal standing to assail the validity of the executive orders.
HELD: AMINs position fails to impress. The Supreme Court ruled that the E.O.s
issued did not constitute a transgression of the separation of powers doctrine.

Sub Issues and resolutions (I assume Atty. Haulo wants in-depth answers)
On NCIP as an independent agency

The characterization of the NCIP as an independent agency under the Office of the
President does not remove said body from the Presidents control and supervision
with respect to its performance of administrative functions.

In transferring the NCIP to the DAR as an attached agency, the President


effectively tempered the exercise of presidential authority and considerably
recognized that degree of independence.

The Administrative Code of 1987 categorizes administrative relationships into (1)


supervision and control, (2) administrative supervision, and (3) attachment.

An attached agency has a larger measure of independence from the Department to


which it is attached than one which is under departmental supervision and control
or administrative supervision. This is borne out by the lateral relationship between
the Department and the attached agency.

The attachment is merely for policy and program coordination. Indeed, the
essential autonomous character of a board is not negated by its attachment to a
commission.

The Constitutions express grant of the power of control in the President justifies an executive
action to carry out reorganization measures under a broad authority of law.
The creation of an executive office, bureau or department by the legislative branch is
essentially adding another organ to the administrative structure which is under the President
as Chief Executive. The president can under his power of control deactivate an office, or carry
1
out reorganization by virtue of The Administrative Code of 1987 .

5. Re: COA Opinion on the Computation of the Appraised Value of the Properties
Purchased by the Retired Chief/Associate Justices of the Supreme Court.
AM No. 11-7-10-SC 31 July 2012
FACTS:
1. 8 June 2010: The Legal Services Sector of the Commission on Audit (COA)s Office
of the General Counsel (OGC) issued an Opinion which found that five retired

SEC. 31. Continuing Authority of the President to Reorganize his Office. The
President, subject to the policy in the Executive Office and in order to achieve
simplicity, economy and efficiency, shall have continuing authority to reorganize
the administrative structure of the Office of the President. For this purpose, he
may take any of the following actions:
(1) Restructure the internal organization of the Office of the President
Proper, including the immediate Offices, the Presidential Special
Assistants/Advisers System and the Common Staff Support System, by

abolishing, consolidating, or merging units thereof or transferring


functions from one unit to another;
(2) Transfer any function under the Office of the President to any other
Department or Agency as well as transfer functions to the Office of the
President from other Departments and Agencies; and
(3) Transfer any agency under the Office of the President to any other
department or agency as well as transfer agencies to the Office of the
President from other departments or agencies.

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2.

3.

4.

Supreme Court justices had underpaid the items they have used during their tenure
as Justices, amounting to Php 221,021.50.
The COA attributed the underpayment to the use of the wrong formula by the
Property Division of the Supreme Court. According to the COA,
a. What the SC Property Division applied: the Constitutional Fiscal
Autonomy Group (CFAG) Joint Resolution No. 35 (April 23, 1997) and its
guidelines, in compliance with the SC En Banc Resolution in A.M. No.
03-12-01
b. What the SC Property Division should have applied: COA
Memorandum No. 98-569-A (August 5, 1988)
Atty. Eden Candelaria, Deputy Clerk of Court and Chief Administrative Officer of the
Office of Administrative Services prepared two Memoranda (dated July 14, 2011
and August 10, 2010), subject of this administrative matter, which essentially asks
the Court to determine the proper formula to be used in computing the
appraisal value that a retired Chief Justice and several Associate Justices of the
Supreme Court have to pay to acquire the government properties they used during
their tenure.
Recommendations of Atty. Candelaria: The Supreme Court should advise COA to
respect the in-house computation based on the CFAG formula. Basis:
a. There were two previous instances involving two (2) retired CA Associate
Justices with the same facts and issue, and the COA upheld the use of
the CFAG guidelines in computing for the appraised value of government
property;
b.

3.

4.

5.

The Constitution itself granted the Judiciary fiscal autonomy in the


handling of its budget and resources.
i. Full autonomy, among others, contemplates the guarantee of
full flexibility in the allocation and utilization of the Judiciarys
resources, based on its own determination of what it needs.
ii. The Court has the recognized authority to allocate and
disburse such sums as may be provided or required by law in
the course of the discharge of its functions.
iii. To allow the COA to substitute the Courts policy in the
disposal of its property would be tantamount to an
encroachment into this judicial prerogative.
6.

ISSUE: Whether or not the application of COA Memorandum No. 98-569-A would result in the
violation of the doctrine of separation of powers
RULING: YES, the application of the COA Memorandum would violate the doctrine of
separation of powers. The in-house computation of the appraisal value made by the Property
Division, Office of Administrative Services, of the properties purchased by the retired Chief
Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, based on the CFAG Joint Resolution
were CONFIRMED to be LEGAL and VALID. The Commission on Audit was advised of this
Resolution for its guidance.
RATIO:
1.

2.

Principle of Separation of Powers. The principle of separation of powers obtains


not through express provision but by actual division in the Constitution. Each
department of the government has exclusive cognizance of matters within its
jurisdiction, and is supreme within its own sphere.
Concept of Checks and Balances. It does not follow that the three powers are to
be separate and distinct that the Constitution intended them to be absolutely

7.

unrestrained and independent of each other. The Constitution has provided for an
elaborate system of checks and balances to secure coordination in the workings of
the various departments of the government.
Independence of the Three Branches of Government. This extends from the
notion that the powers of government must be divided to avoid concentration of
these powers in any one branch. This division would avoid any single branch
from lording its power over the other branches of the citizenry. Lack of
independence would result in the inability of one branch of government to check the
arbitrary or self-interest assertions of another or ohers.
Judicial Independence. Judicial independence can be broken down into:
a. Decisional Independence: refers to a judge s ability to render decisions
free from political or popular influence based solely on the individual facts
and applicable law
b. Institutional Independence: describes the separation of the judicial
branch from the executive and legislative branches of government; the
collective independence of the judiciary as a whole
Constitutional Mandate for Judicial Fiscal Autonomy. The Constitution also
mandates that the judiciary shall enjoy fiscal autonomy, and grants the Supreme
Court administrative supervision over all courts and judicial personnel. Just as the
Executive may not prevent a judge from discharging his or her judicial duty (for
example, by physically preventing a court from holding its hearings) and just as the
Legislature may not enact laws removing all jurisdiction from courts, the courts may
not be obstructed from their freedom to use or dispose of their funds for purposes
germane to judicial functions. Section 3, Article VIII states:

Section 3. The Judiciary shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. Appropriations for


the Judiciary may not be reduced by the legislature below the amount
appropriated for the previous year and, after approval, shall be
automatically and regularly released.
The fiscal autonomy enjoyed by the Judiciary, the Civil Service Commission, the
Commission on Audit, the Commission on Elections, and the Office of the
Ombudsman contemplates a guarantee of full flexibility to allocate and utilize their
resources with the wisdom and dispatch that their needs require. Fiscal autonomy
means freedom from outside control
The Present Case. The use of the formula provided in CFAG Joint Resolution No.
35 is a part of the Courts exercise of its discretionary authority to determine the
manner the granted retirement privileges and benefits can be availed of. Any kind
of interference on how these retirement privileges and benefits are exercised and
availed of, not only violates the fiscal autonomy and independence of the Judiciary,
but also encroaches upon the constitutional duty and privilege of the Chief Justice
and the Supreme Court En Banc to manage the Judiciary s own affairs.
Government Accounting and Auditing Manual (GAAM), Vol. 1, Sec. 501, Title
7, Chapter 3: Authority or responsibility for property disposal/divestment. The full
and sole authority and responsibility for the divestment and disposal of property
and other assets owned x x x shall be lodged in the heads clearly recognizing
that the Chief justice, as the head of the Judiciary, possesses the full and sole
authority and responsibility to divest and dispose of the properties and assets of the
Judiciary; as Head of Office, he determines the manner and the conditions of
disposition, which in this case relate to a benefit.

6. In the Matter of: Save the Supreme Court Judicial Independence and

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Fiscal Autonomy Movement v. Abolition of Judiciary Development Fund


(JDF) and Reduction of Fiscal Autonomy, 746 SCRA 352 (2015)

Section 1. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme


Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law.

FACTS
1.)

2.)

3.)

4.)
5.)

6.)

7.)

8.)
9.)

This case involves the proposed bills abolishing the Judiciary Development Fund
and replacing it with the "Judiciary Support Fund, Funds collected from the
proposed Judiciary Support Fund shall be remitted to the national treasury and
Congress shall determine how the funds will be used.
In the first week of July 2014, Ilocos Norte Representative Rodolfo Farias filed House Bill
No. 4690, which would require this court to remit its Judiciary Development Fund
collections to the national treasury.
On July 14, 2014, Iloilo Representative Niel Tupas, Jr., filed House Bill No. 4738
entitled The Act Creating the Judicial Support Fund (JSF) under the National
Treasury, repealing for the purpose Presidential Decree No. 1949
On the same day; President Benigno Aquino addressed the nation
Petitioner Rolly Mijares (Mijares) prays for the issuance of a writ of mandamus in
order to compel this court to exercise its judicial independence and fiscal autonomy
against the perceived hostility of Congress
Petitioner prays that this court exercise its powers to REVOKE/ABROGATE and
EXPUNGE whatever irreconcilable contravention of existing laws affecting the
judicial independence and fiscal autonomy as mandated under the Constitution to
better serve public interest and general welfare of the people.
Mijares alleges, as his legal standing; that he is a Filipino citizen, and a concerned
taxpayer, He filed this petition as part of his continuing crusade to defend and
uphold the Constitution because 2013 and Disbursement Acceleration July 1, 2014.

b.

a.)

There is no actual controversy because there is no JUSTICIABLE CONTROVERSY


OF THE PROPOSED BILL BECAUSE IT IS NOT YET A LAW. HENCE, COURT
COULD NOT REVIEW AND STRIKE IT DOWN.

b.)

Issue under the separation of power:


1.) Whether or not the court has the power to review or strike down the proposed bill
abolishing the judiciary development fund.

That Congress gravely abused its discretion with a blatant usurpation of


judicial independence and fiscal autonomy of the Supreme Court.
That Congress is exercising its power in an arbitrary and despotic manner by
reason of passion or personal hostility by abolishing the Judiciary
Development Fund (JDF) of the Supreme Court.

RULING: THE PETITION WAS DENIED BECAUSE IT DOES NOT MEET 2 OF


THE REQUISTIES OF JUDICIAL REVIEW; Actual Controversy and Legal
Standing.
Actual Controversy There is no actual controversy, meaning; an existing case or
controversy that is appropriate or ripe for determination, not conjectural or
anticipatory, lest the decision of the court would amount to an advisory opinion.
Sec. 1, Article VIII of the constitution:

NO LOCUS STANDI/ LEGAL STANDING - Petitioner has not shown that he has
sustained or will sustain a direct injury if the proposed bill is passed into law. While
his concern for judicial independence is laudable, it does not, by itself, clothe him
with the requisite standing to question the constitutionality of a proposed bill that
may only affect the judiciary.
The events feared by petitioner are contingent on the passing of the proposed bill in
Congress. The threat of imminent injury is not yet manifest since there is no
guarantee that the bill will even be passed into law. There is no transcendental
interest in this case to justify the relaxation of technical rules.

The complaint implied that certain acts of members of Congress and the President
after the promulgation of these cases show a threat to judicial independence.
Petitioner argues the following:
a.

10.)

Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle


actual controversies involving rights, which are legally
demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not
there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or
instrumentality of the Government.

Ruling:
NO. The court is not empowered to strike down and review proposed legislation.
-

The court is not empowered to RULE and REVIEW on PROPOSED BILLS because
A BILL IS NOT A LAW.
Under the separation of powers, the Court cannot restrain Congress from passing
any law, or from setting into motion the legislative mill according to its internal rules.
Thus, the following acts of Congress in the exercise of its legislative powers are not
subject to judicial restraint: the filing of bills by members of Congress, the approval
of bills by each chamber of Congress, the reconciliation by the Bicameral
Committee of approved bills, and the eventual approval into law of the reconciled
bills by each chamber of Congress. Absent a clear violation of specific
constitutional limitations or of constitutional rights of private parties, the Court
cannot exercise its power of judicial review over the internal processes or
procedures of Congress.

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To do so would destroy the delicate system of checks and balances finely crafted
by the Constitution for the three co-equal, coordinate and independent branches of
government.

7. BELGICA, ET AL. VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, ET AL. (G.R. NO. 208566; SOCIAL
JUSTICE SOCIETY VS. HON. FRANKLIN DRILON, ET AL. (G.R. NO. 208493);
NEPOMUCENO VS. PRES. AQUINO (G.R. NO. 209251) NOVEMBER 19, 2013

FACTS
HISTORY of CONGRESSIONAL PORK BARREL

The term pork barrel, a political parlance of American-English origin, refers to an


appropriation of government spending meant for localized projects and secured
solely or primarily to bring money to a representatives district.
The earliest form of the pork barrel system is found in Section 3 of Act 3044,
otherwise known as the Public Works Act of 1922. Under this provision, release of
funds and realignment of unexpended portions of an item or appropriation were
subject to the approval of a joint committee elected by the Senate and the House of
Representatives.
In 1950, members of Congress, by virtue of being representatives of the people,
also became involved in project identification.
The pork barrel system was temporarily discontinued when martial law was
declared.
It reappeared in 1982 through an item in the General Appropriations Act (GAA)
called Support for Local Development Projects (SLDP). SLDP started the giving
of lump-sum allocations to individual legislators. The SLDP also began to cover not
only public works project or hard projects but also covered soft projects such as
those which would fall under education, health and livelihood.
After the EDSA People Power Revolution and the restoration of democracy, the
pork barrel was revived through the Mindanao Development Fund and the
Visayas Development Fund.

Senate Committee on Finance and the House Committee on Appropriations


regarding the releases made from the funds.
Congressional insertions (CIs) were another form of congressional pork barrel
aside from the CDF. Examples of the CIs include the DepEd School Building Fund,
the Congressional Initiative Allocations, and the Public Works Fund, among others.
The allocations for the School Building Fund were made upon prior consultation
with the representative of the legislative district concerned and the legislators had
the power to direct how, where and when these appropriations were to be spent.
In 1999, the CDF was removed from the GAA and replaced by three separate
forms of CIs: (i) Food Security Program Fund, (ii) Lingap Para sa Mahihirap Fund,
and (iii) Rural/Urban Development Infrastructure Program Fund. All three
contained a provision requiring prior consultation with members of Congress for the
release of funds.
In 2000, the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) appeared in the GAA.
PDAF required prior consultation with the representative of the district before the
release of funds. PDAF also allowed realignment of funds to any expense category
except personal services and other personnel benefits.
In 2005, the PDAF introduced the program menu concept which is essentially a list
of general programs and implementing agencies from which a particular PDAF
project may be subsequently chosen by the identifying authority. This was retained
in the GAAs from 2006-2010.
It was during the Arroyo administration when the formal participation of nongovernmental organizations in the implementation of PDAF projects was
introduced.
The PDAF articles from 2002-2010 were silent with respect to specific amounts for
individual legislators.
In 2011, the PDAF Article in the GAA contained an express statement on lump-sum
amounts allocated for individual legislators and the Vice-President. It also
contained a provision on realignment of funds but with the qualification that it may
be allowed only once.
The 2013 PDAF Article allowed LGUs to be identified as implementing agencies.
Legislators were also allowed identify programs/projects outside of his legislative
district. Realignment of funds and release of funds were required to be favorably
endorsed by the House Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee
on Finance, as the case may be.
MALAMPAYA FUNDS AND PRESIDENTIAL SOCIAL FUND

In 1990, the pork barrel was renamed Countrywide Development Fund (CDF).
The CDF was meant to cover small local infrastructure and other priority community
projects.
CDF Funds were, with the approval of the President, released directly to
implementing agencies subject to the submission of the required list of projects and
activities. Senators and congressmen could identify any kind of project from hard
projects such as roads, buildings and bridges to soft projects such as textbooks,
medicines, and scholarships.
In 1993, the CDF was further modified such that the release of funds was to be
made upon the submission of the list of projects and activities identified by
individual legislators. This was also the first time when the Vice-President was
given an allocation.
The CDF contained the same provisions from 1994-1996 except that the
Department of Budget and Management was required to submit reports to the

The use of the term pork barrel was expanded to include certain funds of the
President such as the Malampaya Fund and the Presidential Social Fund (PSF).

The Malampaya Fund was created as a special fund under Section 8 of


Presidential Decree (PD) No. 910 issued by President Ferdinand Marcos on
March 22, 1976.
The PSF was created under Section 12, Title IV of PD No. 1869, or the Charter of
the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), as amended by
PD No. 1993. The PSF is managed and administered by the Presidential

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Management Staff and is sourced from the share of the government in the
aggregate gross earnings of PAGCOR.

PORK BARREL MISUSE

In 1996, Marikina City Representative Romeo Candozo revealed that huge sums of
money regularly went into the pockets of legislators in the form of kickbacks.
In 2004, several concerned citizens sought the nullification of the PDAF but the
Supreme Court dismissed the petition for lack of evidentiary basis regarding illegal
misuse of PDAF in the form of kickbacks.
In July 2013, the National Bureau of Investigation probed the allegation that a
syndicate defrauded the government of P10 billion using funds from the pork barrel
of lawmakers and various government agencies for scores of ghost projects.
In August 2013, the Commission on Audit released the results of a three-year audit
investigation detailing the irregularities in the release of the PDAF from 2007 to
2009.
Whistle-blowers also alleged that at least P900 million from the Malampaya Funds
had gone into a dummy NGO.

ISSUE/S

There exists an actual and justiciable controversy in the cases. The requirement of
contrariety of legal rights is satisfied by the antagonistic positions of the parties
regarding the constitutionality of the pork barrel system.
The case is ripe for adjudication since the challenged funds and the laws allowing
for their utilization are currently existing and operational and thereby posing an
immediate or threatened injury to petitioners.
The case is not moot as the proposed reforms on the PDAF and the abolition
thereof does not actually terminate the controversy on the matter. The President
does not have constitutional authority to nullify or annul the legal existence of the
PDAF.
The moot and academic principle cannot stop the Court from deciding the case
considering that: (a) petitioners allege grave violation of the constitution, (b) the
constitutionality of the pork barrel system presents a situation of exceptional
character and is a matter of paramount public interest, (c) there is a practical need
for a definitive ruling on the systems constitutionality to guide the bench, the bar
and the public, and (d) the preparation and passage of the national budget is an
annual occurrence.
(b) Political Question Doctrine is Inapplicable

PROCEDURAL ISSUES

Whether or not (a) the issues raised in the consolidated petitions involve an actual and
justiciable controversy, (b) the issues raised are matters of policy not subject to judicial
review, (c) petitioners have legal standing to sue, (d) previous decisions of the Court bar the
re-litigation of the constitutionality of the Pork Barrel system.

The intrinsic constitutionality of the Pork Barrel System is not an issue dependent
upon the wisdom of the political branches of the government but rather a legal one
which the Constitution itself has commanded the Court to act upon.
The 1987 Constitution expanded the concept of judicial power such that the
Supreme Court has the power to determine whether there has been grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or
instrumentality on the part of the government.
(c) Petitioners have legal standing to Sue

SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES

Whether or not the 2013 PDAF Article and all other Congressional Pork Barrel laws are
unconstitutional for violating the constitutional provisions on (a) separation of powers, (b) nondelegability of legislative power, (c) checks and balances, (d) accountability, (e) political
dynasties, (f) local autonomy.

Petitioners have legal standing by virtue of being taxpayers and citizens of the
Philippines.
As taxpayers, they are bound to suffer from the unconstitutional usage of public
funds.
As citizens, the issues they have raised are matters of transcendental importance,
of overreaching significance to society, or of paramount public interest.
(d) The Petition is not barred by previous cases

RULING
PROCEDURAL ISSUES

The present case is not barred by the ruling in Philconsa vs. Enriquez [1] because
the Philconsa case was a limited response to a separation of powers problem,
specifically on the propriety of conferring post-enactment identification authority to
Members of Congress.

(a) There is an actual and justiciable controversy

On the contrary, the present cases involve a more holistic examination of (a) the
inter-relation between the CDF and the PDAF Articles with each other, and (b) the

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inter-relation of post-enactment measures contained within a particular CDF or


PDAF article, including not only those related to the area of project identification but
also to the areas of fund release and realignment.
Moreover, the Philconsa case was riddled with inherent constitutional
inconsistencies considering that the authority to identify projects is an aspect of
appropriation and the power of appropriation is a form of legislative power thereby
lodged in Congress. This power cannot be exercised by individual members of
Congress and the authority to appropriate cannot be exercised after the GAA has
already been passed.
The case of Lawyers Against Monopoly and Poverty vs. Secretary of Budget and
Management[2] does not also bar judgment on the present case because it was
dismissed on a procedural technicality and hence no controlling doctrine was
rendered.

(c) Checks and balances

SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES ON CONGRESSIONAL PORK BARREL

(a) The separation of powers between the Executive and the Legislative Departments
has been violated.

The post-enactment measures including project identification, fund release, and


fund realignment are not related to functions of congressional oversight and, hence,
allow legislators to intervene and/or assume duties that properly belong to the
sphere of budget execution, which belongs to the executive department.
Legislators have been, in one form or another, authorized to participate in the
various operational aspects of budgeting, including the evaluation of work and
financial plans for individual activities and the regulation and release of funds in
violation of the separation of powers principle.
Any provision of law that empowers Congress or any of its members to play any
role in the implementation or enforcement of the law violates the principle of
separation of powers and is thus unconstitutional.
That the said authority to identify projects is treated as merely recommendatory in
nature does not alter its unconstitutional tenor since the prohibition covers any role
in the implementation or enforcement of the law.
Respondents also failed to prove that the role of the legislators is only
recommendatory in nature. They even admitted that the identification of the
legislator constitutes a mandatory requirement before the PDAF can be tapped as a
funding source.

The 2013 PDAF Article, insofar as it confers post-enactment identification authority


to individual legislators, violates the principle of non-delegability since said
legislators are effectively allowed to individually exercise the power of
appropriation, which as settled in Philconsa is lodged in Congress.
That the power to appropriate must be exercised only through legislation is clear
from Section 29(1), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution which states that: No
money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation
made by law.

Under the 2013 PDAF Article, the amount of P24.79 Billion only appears as a
collective allocation limit since the said amount would be further divided among
individual legislators who would then receive personal lump-sum allocations and
could, after the GAA is passed, effectively appropriate PDAF funds based on their
own discretion.
This kind of lump-sum/post-enactment legislative identification budgeting system
fosters the creation of a budget within a budget which subverts the prescribed
procedure of presentment and consequently impairs the Presidents power of item
veto.
It forces the President to decide between (a) accepting the entire PDAF allocation
without knowing the specific projects of the legislators, which may or may not be
consistent with his national agenda and (b) rejecting the whole PDAF to the
detriment of all other legislators with legitimate projects.
In fact, even without its post-enactment legislative identification feature, the 2013
PDAF Article would remain constitutionally flawed since it would then operate as a
prohibited form of lump-sum appropriation. This is because the appropriation law
leaves the actual amounts and purposes of the appropriation for further
determination and, therefore, does not readily indicate a discernible item which may
be subject to the Presidents power of item veto.

(d) The Congressional Pork Barrel partially prevents accountability as Congress is


incapable of checking itself or its members.

(b)The principle of non-delegability of legislative powers has been violated

The legislators are individually exercising the power of appropriation because each
of them determines (a) how much of their PDAF fund would go to and (b) a specific
project or beneficiary that they themselves also determine.

The fact that individual legislators are given post-enactment roles in the
implementation of the budget makes it difficult for them to become disinterested
observers when scrutinizing, investigating or monitoring the implementation of the
appropriation law.
The conduct of oversight would be tainted as said legislators, who are vested with
post-enactment authority, would, in effect, be checking on activities in which they
themselves participate.
The concept of post-enactment authorization violates Section 14, Article VI of the
1987 Constitution, which prohibits members of Congress to intervene in any matter
before any office of the Government, because it renders them susceptible to taking
undue advantage of their own office.
The Court, however, cannot completely agree that the same post-enactment
authority and/or the individual legislators control of his PDAF per se would allow
him to perpetuate himself in office.
The use of his PDAF for re-election purposes is a matter which must be analyzed
based on particular facts and on a case-to-case basis.
(e) The constitutional provision regarding political dynasties is

ITL DIGESTS BLOCK 2


not self-executing.

Section 26, Article II of the 1987 Constitution, which provides that the state shall
prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law, is not a self-executing
provision.
Since there appears to be no standing law which crystallizes the policy on political
dynasties for enforcement, the Court must defer from ruling on this issue.

It also specified a public purpose: priority infrastructure development projects and x


x x the restoration of damaged or destroyed facilities due to calamities, as may be
directed and authorized by the Office of the President of the Philippines.

(b) Section 8 of PD No. 910 and Section 12 of PD No. 1869 constitutes undue
delegation of legislation powers.

(f) The Congressional Pork Barrel violates constitutional principles on local autonomy

The Congressional Pork Barrel goes against the constitutional principles on local
autonomy since it allows district representatives, who are national officers, to
substitute their judgments in utilizing public funds for local development.
The gauge of PDAF and CDF allocation/division is based solely on the fact of
office, without taking into account the specific interests and peculiarities of the
district the legislator represents.
The allocation/division limits are clearly not based on genuine parameters of
equality, wherein economic or geographic indicators have been taken into
consideration.
This concept of legislator control underlying the CDF and PDAF conflicts with the
functions of the various Local Development Councils (LDCs) which are already
legally mandated toassist the corresponding sanggunian in setting the direction
of economic and social development, and coordinating development efforts within
its territorial jurisdiction.
Considering that LDCs are instrumentalities whose functions are essentially geared
towards managing local affairs, their programs, policies and resolutions should not
be overridden nor duplicated by individual legislators, who are national officers that
have no law-making authority except only when acting as a body.

The phrase and for such other purposes as may be hereafter directed by the
President under Section 8 of PD 910 constitutes an undue delegation of legislative
power insofar as it does not lay down a sufficient standard to adequately determine
the limits of the Presidents authority with respect to the purpose for which the
Malampaya Funds may be used.
This phrase gives the President wide latitude to use the Malampaya Funds for any
other purpose he may direct and, in effect, allows him to unilaterally appropriate
public funds beyond the purview of the law.
This notwithstanding, it must be underscored that the rest of Section 8, insofar as it
allows for the use of the Malampaya Funds to finance energy resource
development and exploitation programs and projects of the government, remains
legally effective and subsisting.
Section 12 of PD No. 1869 constitutes an undue delegation of legislative powers
because it lies independently unfettered by any sufficient standard of the delegating
law.
The law does not supply a definition of priority infrastructure development projects
and hence, leaves the President without any guideline to construe the same.
The delimitation of a project as one of infrastructure is too broad of a classification
since the said term could pertain to any kind of facility.

SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES ON PRESIDENTIAL PORK BARREL


8. Santiago v. Guingona Jr. (1998)
(a) Section 8 of PD No. 910 and Section 12 of PD No. 1869 are valid appropriation
laws.

For an appropriation law to be valid under Section 29 (1), Article VI of the 1987
Constitution, which provides that No money shall be paid out of the Treasury
except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law, it is enough that (a) the
provision of law sets apart a determinate or determinable amount of money and (b)
allocates the same for a particular public purpose.
Section 8 of PD 910 is a valid appropriation law because it set apart a determinable
amount: a Special Fund comprised of all fees, revenues, and receipts of the
[Energy Development] Board from any and all sources.
It also specified a public purpose: energy resource development and exploitation
programs and projects of the government and for such other purposes as may be
hereafter directed by the President.
Section 12 of PD No. 1869 is also a valid appropriation law because it set apart a
determinable amount: [a]fter deducting five (5%) percent as Franchise Tax, the Fifty
(50%) percent share of the Government in the aggregate gross earnings of
[PAGCOR], or 60%[,] if the aggregate gross earnings be less than
P150,000,000.00.

Petition: Special Civil Action. Quo Warranto


Petitioners: Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago and Sen. Francisco S. Tatad
Respondent: Sen. Teofisto T. Guingona, Jr. and Sen. Marcelo B. Fernan
Ponente: J. Panganiban
Date: 18 September 1998
Facts:

ITL DIGESTS BLOCK 2


th

27 June 1998 Senate convened first regular session, 11 Congress


o
Sen. Fernan elected as Senate President (20 to 2); Sen. Tatad had also
been nominated, by Sen. Santiago

Sen. Ople, Senate President Pro Tempore

Sen. Drilon, Majority Leader


o
By the end of the session, no consensus/decision on who would be
Minority Leader

Sen. Tatad manifested that he would be assuming the position


of minority leader

The contention: those who had voted for Fernan


constituted the majority; those who didnt (Tatad
and Santiago), the minority

Sen. Flavier: Lakas-NUCD-UMDP (7 members, thus, a


minority) had chosen Sen. Guingona as the Minority Leader

10

30 July 1998 Majority Leader said he had received a letter signed by the 7 Lakas
Senators, stating that they had selected Guingona as the Minority Leader
o
Senate President formally recognized Sen. Guingona as Minority Leader
31 July 1998 Sen. Santiago and Tatad filed petition for quo warranto

1.

YES.

Pertinent laws/provisions/concepts:

Sec 16(1), Art. VI, 1987 Constitution


The Senate shall elect its President and the House of Representatives, its Speaker, by a
majority vote of all its respective Members. Each House shall choose such other
officers, as it may deem necessary.

Sec. 16(3), Art. VI, 1987 Constitution

Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its Members for
disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all its Members, suspend
or expel a Member. A penalty of suspension, when imposed, shall not exceed sixty days.

Sec 1, Par. 2, Art. VIII, 1987 Constitution

The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as
may be established by law.
Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies
involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine
whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess
of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.

Definition: political question (Tanada v. Cuenco [1957])

Those questions which, under the Constitution are to be decided by the people in their
sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated
to the legislative or executive branch of the government. It is concerned with issues
dependent upon the wisdom, not [the] legality, of a particular measure.

Quo warranto proceedings

Legal remedy to determine the right to a contested public office and to oust the holder
from its enjoyment. (Lota v. CA [1961]) In order for a quo warranto proceeding to be
successful, the person suing must show that he/she has a clear right to the contested
office or to use/exercise the functions of the office allegedly usurped or unlawfully held
by the respondent.
Issues:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Does the Supreme Court have jurisdiction over the petition? (YES)
Was there an actual violation of the Constitution? (NO)
Was Guingona usurping, unlawfully holding and exercising the position of Senate
Minority Leader? (NO)
Did Fernan act with grave abuse of discretion in recognizing Guingona as the
Minority Leader? (NO)

Within the jurisdiction of the court to inquire if Senate (or its officials)
violated the Constitution or gravely abused their discretion in the exercise
of their functions.
Doctrine: jurisdiction over subject matter of a case, determined by the
allegations of the complaint, regardless of whether the petitioner is
entitled to the relief asserted. (Alleje v CA [1995], Sarmiento v. CA
[1995], Times Broadcasting Network v. CA [1997], Chico v. CA [1998])
o Petitioners allegation: Sec 16(1), Art. VI not observed in
selection of Senate Minority Leader: invoke SCs judicial power
to determine whether or not there has been grave abuse of
discretion.

Invoked Avelino v. Cuenco: tackled scope of SCs


judicial review questions involving
interpretation/application of a provision of the
Constitution or law, including rules of either house
of Congress (even acts political in nature, whenever
there are constitutionally imposed limits on powers or
functions conferred upon political bodies); in the
case, SC assumed jurisdiction in deciding who was
the rightful Senate President resolution hinged on
the interpretation of the constitutional provision on
the presence of a quorum.
o Respondents comment: issue an internal matter pertaining
exclusively to the domain of the legislature SC cannot
exercise jurisdiction w/o transgressing separation-of-powers.

No Constitutional issue involved: Constitution does


not provide for the office of a minority leader in the
Senate: Senate has full discretion to provide for
office, and procedure in selecting its occupant

Avelino does not apply: no question involving


interpretation/application of Constitution laws, or
rules of Senate.
Other examples of SC exercising jurisdiction over acts of Exec./Legis.:
o Lansang v. Garcia (1971): SC has authority to inquire into
existence of factual bases required by the Constitution for
suspension of writ of habeas corpus not to supplant
Executive, only to check if Executive went beyond
constitutional limits of his jurisdiction.
o Javellana v. Executive Secretary (1973)
Judicial Power to check grave abuse of discretion more explicitly granted
to the SC in the 1987 Constitution (Sec 1, Art. VIII)
o Tanada v. Angara (1997): petitioners sought to nullify Senate
concurrence in ratifying the WTO Agreement right and duty
of judiciary to settle issues where one branch of govt infringed
Constitution; but SC should only strike down acts of co-equal
branches on two grounds, (1) unconstitutionality or illegality, or
(2) grave abuse of discretion
Some post-1987 Constitution examples of cases where SC decided it did
not have jurisdiction:

Ruling/Ratio Decidendi:

ITL DIGESTS BLOCK 2


11

o Co v. HRET (1991): full authority conferred upon HRET as sole


judges of all contests relating to election returns, qualifications
of members no grave abuse of discretion.
o Arroyo v. De Venecia (1997): on whether a bill had been
properly approved by the legislative body matter concerned
with internal procedure of the House.
2.

NO.

4.

Decision: Petition Dismissed


Dissenting Opinion: J. Mendoza

3.

o Recognition came after at least two Senate sessions and a


caucus, where both sides allowed to articulate their
standpoints.

Congress has the power/prerogative to provide for its officers: to


prescribe the parameters for the exercise of this prerogative.
o To intrude on the jurisdiction of the legislature (in the case)
would amount to Judicial Legislation a clear breach of
separation-of-powers.
o In the absence of Constitution prov., laws, or specific rules
SC devoid of any basis upon which to determine the legality of
acts of the Senate.
Petitioners argument:
o Majority must take its definition from Sec. 16(1), Art. VI:
Majority = those who voted for Senate President; thus,
Minority = those who did not vote for Senate President.

Thus, Guingona cannot be Senate Minority Leader


because (1) he voted for Fernan and (2) the bloc of
Senators who voted for him also voted for Fernan
SC: argument has no clear support from the Constitution
o Judicial definition of majority: number greater than half or
more than half of any total. (Perez v. De la Cruz [1969],
Perfecto concurring opinion in Avelino v. Cuenca)
o Constitutional requirement: Senate President must get votes of
more than one half of all the Senators does not provide that
members who will not vote for him shall ipso facto constitute
the minority.
th

Precedent cited by Guingona: in 8 Congress,


nomination of Sen. Salonga as Senate President
was seconded by a member of the minority Sen.
Joseph Estrada.
o SC: unlike with selection of Senate President, the Constitution
is not explicit in the manner of selecting the Minority Leader
must be prescribed by the Senate. (Constitution vests in each
house of Congress the power to determine the rules of its
proceedings. [Sec. 16(3), Art. VI])
SC: neither has argument have clear support of Rules: the Rules of the
Senate do not provide for the positions of majority and minority leaders.

Centered on whether the SC had jurisdiction over the case: Mendoza disagreed
with the majority and opined that the SC did not have jurisdiction.
o
Political question: SC must respect internal affairs of its co-equal
branches
o
Courts have no power to inquire into the internal org. of a house of
Congress, except as the question affects the rights of third parties
or a specific constitutional limitation is involved.

For this reason, the SC had, in the past, declined to assume


jurisdiction over cases involving the discipline of members of
the Legis. (Alejandrino v. Quezon [1924] suspension of a
Senator for assaulting a fellow Senator; Osmena v. Pendatun
[1960] suspension of a Senator for imputing bribery to Pres.
Garcia) and the interpretation of rules of procedure of a house
(Arroyo v. De Venecia).

NO.

Petitioners unable to prove clearly and sufficiently their entitlement to the


office of the Senate minority leader.
o Absent any clear-cut guidelines, no way to establish that
illegality or irregularity tainted Guingonas assumption of the
office of the Senate minority leader.

Fernan not guilty of capricious or whimsical exercise of judgment, or of


an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion or hostility.
o Guingona belongs to Lakas, a minority party

NO.

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12